NärCon Winter 2013

What to say… It was much needed, but didn’t fully live up to the hype.

NärCon has good and experienced organizers, but I don’t think they have fully realized what it means to organize a winter event in Sweden. First of all: It’s freezing cold. I queued outdoors for the check-in in below zero degrees weather for three hours. NärCon is very good at entertaining and handing out water to the queue at their summer event. I was expecting the same treatment here, but they didn’t even give the opportunity to buy hot drinks, even though they had "Hotto Drinku" just inside the doors. I couldn’t feel my feet, and I know there were people who were told by staff to skip ahead in line because their lips were turning blue. The cold, long and slow queue drove all the excitement for the con to the bottom. Organizers: You NEED to give us a better queue experience.

After this very bad start, it took a while to regain something that even resembled excitement.

I did some soft start cosplay with Hearts Boxcars, to see how well I could navigate in cosplay, and how long I could wear it before it became uncomfortable. Turned out that the shirt made my neck sore and irritated, so I had to visit the medics three times for it.

I attended the Homestuck meet-up. Since we weren’t the full Midnight Crew, I didn’t cosplay a troll or a human, I didn’t have a camera with me, nor am I a shipper, the "free-for-all" photoshoot wasn’t that exiting for me. I did manage to take one of the photographers I knew to do I small private shoot just next to the main one. We’ll see how of those photos turned out.

I left the meet-up earlier than I originally planned.

Apart from the meet-up, the only planned event worth mentioning was the cosplay show.
The stage was small, and there weren’t much place for the audience. The room quickly got filled; luckily I got a spot in right in the middle. The cosplay-staff told us to stand up to make room for more people, but that made it so that only the very front row could see anything at all. So the staff changed their mind and arranged an "organized sit-down", we sat down on the floor row after row and really tight. It was a good compromise, though it was now impossible to move my feet, they fell asleep and it hurt like hell. NärCon:Winter will need a better stage.

The cosplay show itself was quite good. Some very good cosplays. It’s however quite hard to do a just judgment of the craftsmanship from that distance and in the very short seconds that the cosplayers were on stage. So I voted on those that I could see had done a good job, and on those that did a good presentation (with Thor and Loki as winners of my "Best Performance").

Other than the Homestuck meet-up and the cosplay show, there weren’t much else to do. I spent a lot of time with new and old friends. It was them that made this convention worth it.
- Thanks to Mats (Vincent) for the cosplay craft-discussions, I learned a lot and became even more motivated to continue.
- Thanks to Johanna for making me relax and take it easy.
- Thanks to Gauss (Loki) and his brother (Thor) for even more cosplay craft-discussions in the sleeping hall.
- Thanks to Emma Swahn and the Dave-cosplayer I met on the train down, and whom I had a great time with at the con.
- Thanks to Magda and Evve, you always make me smile. Too bad you had to leave early.

Some final things I want to mention:
- I never saw any staff checking the con-band at the entrance. I could just enter, even with my wrist covered.
- I never saw any sleeping hall guards. That wasn’t any problem for me since I had a very good hall. But a friend could have needed a sleeping hall guard when she couldn’t fall asleep since some idiots decided to have a meet-up IN THE SLEEPING HALL AT NIGHT.
- There was a lot of litter, especially in the main area in front of the cafeteria.
- There was no good source of food at the convention. I saw the barbeque, but I could never find any way to buy from there, if it even ever was open.

So in conclusion, I think NärCon Winter is a good concept, but the organizers need to sharpen up. I would give NCV a 2/5, but the people I met and befriended raises it to a 3/5.